We never have enough time in the day for our kids and the biggest headache is supper time. I’m right there with you. So here’s an idea that has been working well for me. Crock Pot days. No–I’m not saying I’m a little off my rocker, I’m talking about that amazing tool sitting in your kitchen. So here’s a few of my sanity saving recipes that I use on a weekly basis, this prevents me from needing so many time outs from my kids (Yes… that was an intended plug for my book, Mama Needs A Time Out). Anyhow, the kids love it and enjoy eating it. Plus if it’s hot in your neck of the woods (here in corn country, it is 103 today), the last thing you want to do is heat up your kitchen.
* Oh! One more thing, let your kids help you with these. The worst they can do is make the kitchen messier. It’s a great way to spend time with them and help them build their culinary skills. 🙂
Jamaican Jerk Pork
Serves about 6.
- 3 lb. of boneless pork loin
- 2 Tbsp. thyme
- 2 Tbsp. Cumin
- 1 Tbsp. Ground Cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp. ground allspice
- 1 Bulb of garlic, finely chopped
- 3 Medium onions, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 Tbsp. salt
- 2 Tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/2 Tsp of Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Juice of one lime
- 1 cup orange juice
Finely chop up the onions, set aside. Then all all the ingredients (minus the meat), and mix in a blender until well blended. Next rub down the pork in the mixture and set it in the crock pot. Add the rest of the mixture and onions. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours until pork is done. Pull pork from crock pot, let it rest. Once it has cooled, begin shredding the pork. Serve with a bed of rice or potatoes. Another option is to put the pork into wraps or buns. 🙂
Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Serves 4 to 6 and takes a bit more preparation.
- 1 pound ground chuck or round
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce, low sodium
- 2 tablespoons grated or finely minced onion
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 3 tablespoons vinegar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce, low sodium
- 1 large sweet bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
- hot cooked rice
- 1 can pineapple, chunks (15 ounces)
Creamy Beef Stroganoff
Serves about 6.
- 1-1/2 (10.75 ounce) cans Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3/4 (8 ounce) package sliced white mushrooms
- 2-1/4 medium onions, coarsely chopped
- 2-1/4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3/4 (2 pound) boneless beef bottom round steak, cut into thin strips
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 12 ounce package medium egg noodles, cooked and drained
- Chopped fresh parsley (optional, I get mine from my garden).
- Stir the soup, water, Worcestershire sauce, mushrooms, onions, garlic and black pepper into the slow cooker. Add the beef and stir to coat.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 9 hours or until the beef is fork-tender. Stir the sour cream in the cooker. Serve the beef mixture with the noodles. Sprinkle with the parsley, if desired.
Sloppy Joes (My kids’ favorite).
Serves about 6.
- 2 pounds ground beef (or turkey)
- ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard
- ½ cups ketchup
- 6 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
In a medium skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef and green pepper; drain off fat. Stir in the garlic powder, mustard, ketchup, & brown sugar; mix thoroughly. Pour into crock pot and simmer for (at least) two hours. Season with salt & pepper. (OR you can do it another way, cook hamburger ahead of time in the crock pot).
Finger-Lickin’ Good BBQ Chicken
- 3 pounds of chicken (chicken breasts or hindquarters work great for this too).
- 2 cups water or chicken broth ( I use bullion cubes).
- Your favorite bbq sauce.
- (Optional): Cilantro and red pepper flakes, around here, we like things with a kick.
Throw it all in your crock pot, cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. An hour before serving, add more bbq sauce for taste. Serves about 6.
Slow Cooker Tacos
Serves About 6
- 1 taco seasoning packet (brand of your choice)
- 1 cup chicken broth or beef broth
- 1 pound chicken breasts – boneless & skinless or one pound of ground beef
Dissolve taco seasoning into chicken broth. Place meat in slow cooker and pour broth over them. Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for about 4. (If using chicken, allow meat to cool before shredding with two forks).
Serve with re-fried beans and nacho chips with melted cheese, and shredded lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream and your favorite hot sauce. If your kids don’t like taco shells, use hamburger buns instead.
Italian Chicken (Husband loves this one 🙂 ).
Slow Cooker Chicken Italian
- 6 chicken breast halves
- 2 1/2 cups marinara sauce
- 2/3 cup chopped tomatoes
- 3/4 cup Italian Dressing (the fat free works great too)
Place all ingredients in crock pot. Cover and cook on low for eight hours. This is paired well with a box of couscous or your favorite quick pasta!
Fiesta Chicken with Rice
Serves about 6.
1 can (15 ounce) tomato sauce
2 cans (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes with mild green chilies, undrained
1 cup long-grain rice
1 can (14.5 ounce) chicken broth
1 can (15 ounce) pinto beans, undrained
1 can (15 ounce) black beans, undrained
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts
1 package (1 ounce size) chicken taco seasoning mix
Combine tomato sauce, tomatoes, rice, broth, beans, chicken and seasoning mix in slow cooker.
Cook on LOW setting for 8 hours or on HIGH setting for 4 hours. Stir before serving.
Slow Chicken Enchiladas
Serves 4 to 6.
- 1 pkg. chicken breasts (1 – 1 1/2 lbs)
- 1 jar chicken gravy
- 1 4 oz can green chiles, chopped or one can of mild Rotel (sweeter flavor, less spice)
- 1 onion, chopped
- corn tortillas
- shredded cheese
- 4 boneless chicken breast halves
- 2 pounds small white potatoes, peeled and cut in 1-inch cubes
- 2 medium carrots, cut in chunks
- 1 medium onion, cut in thin wedges
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 4 tablespoons melted butter, divided
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Dash salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin
Tell us: What are your favorite time saving recipes? How do you use your crock pot? Share your tips with us. 🙂
You can download a free copy of her ebook Let's Talk about Prayer www.heatherriggleman.com.
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